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Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (ESV)

The Christian faith is one of particularity, distinctiveness, and exclusivity.  Though we welcome all people, we also make clear distinction between truth and error.  This is so because of her Lord, the Head of the Church.  Jesus Christ is this Head, the only one.  Neither the pope nor a bishop, neither a pastor or even a President, is the Head of Christ’s  Bride.  Only the very Son of God has this position, the same one who now sits at the right hand of God the Father (Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22).

This is He of whom Scripture says, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard (Colossians 1:14-23).

This Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head, is the Only Way to eternal life.  None other has right to this claim.  There is salvation in none other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  This has been the proclamation of the Christian Church throughout the ages, and it will continue to be so.  Her message is Christ crucified and this is the content of her preaching.  In both her speaking and in her doing, Christ receives all glory, honor, and praise.

 This is because all these go to Him. His is the Name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9).  And though all do not now acknowledge Jesus for who He is, there will come a time when every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

 In the meantime, God’s people witness of Christ and delcar Him as the only Savior from sin, death, and the plwer of the devil.  In both love toward God and love toward neighbor, the Christian shows forth the unique claim of Christ, that He Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

 God’s command to love neighbor means to love both friend and foe, ally and enemy, Christian and nonChristian.  Here, there is no distinction.  As Christ loved us and all people, whether they be Pharisee or tax collector, Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever, so are we to love all others.  Whoever it be that needs our help, we help as we are able.

 This our Lord would have us do.  In truth, He has done the same for us.  He loved us before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:10).  He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.  Even those who reject God and His love in Christ, for them too did God send His Son to suffer and die.

 This demonstrates how God’s love works.  It’s not conditional, but unconditional.  This means that it can be rejected and denied.  But only those who believe receive the blessing.  God’s love is given to all, though only few accept it by faith.  But this doesn’t change God’s love towards the world.  This He has shown and demonstrated with Christ’s death for us.  God wants all to repent of their sinful ways and so be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).  God is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:7).

 This is why God sent Jesus into the world, why God gives His Word, and why the earth is still going on today.  The end is not yet.  God’s grace is abundant.  It is by His grace that we are alive yet and that the world continues, not because of what people do, but because of God’s providence and provision for everything we need, even through what people do.

 The point here is this, that as God is towards the sinner, whether believer or unbeliever, in providing what is needed for the body for either, so are we to do the same.  We don’t not help someone because they are not Christian or because they’re in error.  God here would use us to be His hands and feet, as it were, that they in need be cared for.

 These things have to do with our life towards one another, love to our neighbor, whether inside or outside the home, and whether to a fellow believer or heathen.  With regard to these, the Christian is is willing to give up even their very life for the sake of another.

 On the other hand, when it comes to the holy things of God, when it comes to God’s Word and His teaching, His doctrine, the Christian can give up nothing, but remains steadfast to Him who is forever faithful.  With regard to physical needs, we give everything we’ve got.  With regard to God’s Word, we cannot but press on in the truth of our Lord and declare the mercies of God through Jesus Christ.

 Because God in the Second commandment says, Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, using God’s Name to defend teaching that is not true is not tolerated in Christ’s Church (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11).  The Church follows in the path that her Lord has already given, that of His Holy Word.  This the world does not like or appreciate, but this is the path that leads to life because it directs Christ.

 Though the world see intolerance for just any kind of teaching as a bad thing and would have it so that anything goes, this is not so with the Lord.  This is because the Lord desires salvation, not acceptance by the world.  There is no other way to heaven but through Christ.  Muhammad, Buddha, the Pope, and even Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus, let alone any other, including ourselves, do nothing for anyone with reference to status before God.  Any who follow another besides Christ on the way to God the Father are in fact on the way to perdition.  All roads do not lead to heaven.  It really does matter what one believes, regardless of how sincere on is.

 This is so because only Christ saves.  As man, Jesus died the death of sinners, though He Himself knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).  As God, Jesus’ death covered the sins of all people.  Only through Him does one go to the Father.  Man cannot save Himself from God’s wrath.  Nor can any other do anything for us to turn His anger away.

 All religions that are false will teach another way to heaven than through Christ’s suffering, dying, and rising on the third day.  Others will even include Christ’s work, but add also their own.  This is not Christian.  Neither is it acceptable.  There is only one true religion, and it has Christ as beginning, middle, and end, giving Himself for us, sinners as we are, that we be saved, remain in His Word, and receive the crown of  life when we pass from this life to the next (John 8:31-32).

 This is why we are so insistent on distinguishing between man’s word and God’s Word.  Said another way, man’s doctrine and God’s doctrine.  This is the difference between heaven and hell.  Though many in Christendom believe Christ to be their savior, and for this we are thankful, their doctrine is not completely in agreement with Scripture.  Whether this be church or individual, this is something of which to take heed and for which to be careful, for it is written, A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).  And as said in another place, Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them (1 Timothy 4:16).

 It is possible for even Christians to be misled and deceived.  Following man’s thoughts and ways concerning Godly things is dangerous business.  To Christ, then, we hold fast, to Him and to His Word.  His Word is truth, truth that leads to life.  Our word does not.  We distinguish between ours and His because He does.  And because He does, we do.

 When it comes to Christ and His Word, the very truth itself, we dare not budge.  Nor do we give an inch.  Christ alone is our Savior, and the only One for the world.  Compromising the Word of truth because of personal struggles or for the acceptance of others is something that we cannot do.  God does not lead this way.  He leads through the narrow gate and the difficult way, to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).

 There are few who remain on this way of our Lord to life because it is not easy.  It is the way of faith, not of sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).  It means fighting the good fight of faith, daily bearing one’s burdens, denying oneself, and following Christ (1 Timothy 6:12; Galatians 6:5; Luke 9:23). It means, contrary to hope, in hope believing, believing the promises of the living God though everything, including our sinful hearts, and the world, speak against them (Romans 4:18).

 Our faith is not founded, however, on sinking sand.  Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, our foundation is unshakeable (Colossians 2:20).  The rain will descend.  The floods will come.  The winds will blow and beat against us.  But our foundation will remain because our foundation is Christ.  (Matthew 7:24-26). It is as the hymn says, ‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.’  God will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  He helps us and gives to us the strength to remain in Him by means of His Word and through His blessed body and blood.

 Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  This we know because this He has revealed in His Word.  There is no other way, no other truth, and no other life than He who journeyed to the cross, put to death our sin, and was raised to life on the third day.  The world would like to think that there is another way to God, but such is not the case.

The Christian faith is the only true faith.  Only Christ is the way that leads to life.  There is none other.  Though the world will pass away, The Word of the Lord will endure forever (1 peter 1:25).  And all who believe in God’s promises through Jesus Christ will receive the crown of life.  The Lord grant us this faith and keep us in this faith, through Jesus, God’s Son, Amen.

Jn14.1-14, Easter 5, 2011A, Notes

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